I’m back. Its late. I have all the lights off. I really don’t want to be alone right now. I don’t wanna be a single mom right now. I really don’t wanna write too much because I know my mom reads my blog now and I don’t want her to worry.
There were 15 messages on my phone when I finally was able to turn it back on. I can’t bring myself to listen to them. I’m scared to. I heard the first few before I left and I can only imagine what type of rage message #15 will express.
Rooferman’s truck was pulling out of my driveway when I got home. Why? What was he doing at my house? Will he try to come back? Will he bring the cops? Will he try to take LB?
All I know is that he considers the act of taking LB out of town for 5 days was a direct violation of his parenting time. Maybe he thinks since I just up and left without his permission that he has the right to take our daughter without my permission. I’m scared he’s gonna do something crazy and I will be left screaming in a frozen parking lot with empty hands.
I hate this. I hate its the weekend and I can’t talk to a lawyer. I hate that he knows where I live. I hate that we have no official document saying I have custody of our child (other than child support papers). I hate that we can’t even see the new judge till February. I hate that I’ve tried everything I can think of to make some sort of respectable relationship with the father of my child and I’ve failed. I hate that this man has managed to make me feel terrified, confused and powerless once again. I hate being afraid in my own home.
And of course, just when my life is at its most unstable….I meet a guy. My first single dad. A guy who’s coming over to sit with me in my dark house for a little while because I’m scared.
The waters of my life are never tepid.
Rooferman filed a motion to recuse the judge who is presiding over our case. I figured this would happen, so its really not that surprising. It just shows what a dickless coward he is. Its kind of insulting to the Judge as well, since basically Rooferman is telling him he doesn’t think he can do his job. Does he think just because our Judge sent him to prison more than 8 years ago he will rule in my favor? Does he think that because I was at our Judge’s daughter’s wedding, he is just going to hand me a custody order and a cookie?
Sure, that is one of my personal fantasies, but come on! This is reality. Give the man a little more credit.
So our Judge, being a kind and just human being, will wholeheartedly refer us to another division. He’s already said that if we can’t come to an agreement by our next court date, he will send us to another judge anyway. Apparently Rooferman didn’t remember that. He also didn’t remember how to spell our Judge’s name.
Somehow I’m not intimidated. Obviously, he’s the one who’s scared.
P.S. For $5 you can download a person’s entire criminal history at this website. After reading Rooferman’s, I’m thinking this may become a prerequisite for anyone I date. Oh and that “improper driving” ticket he got? Apparently it was “Improper Mountain Driving”, which for all you flatlanders, means he is of those idiots who tries to drive up the side of a cliff, gets stuck, and results in the County Sheriff having to winch him off the cryptobiotic soil.
Rooferman tried to weasel me out of more time last night. He called 30 minutes before I was to pick up LB, saying they were at a restaurant and they just barely got their food, so it would be really nice if we could keep her a little longer. Just barely? It was 7:00 pm. I could see another long night ahead of me.
The Assclown was making me into the mean mommy again, stealing the poor child away from the good daddy. I would swoop in like a vulture and pry the food out of our cherub’s mouth, dragging her away to the dungeon of single mommyhood.
I could fabricate every vindictive idea in my mind as to why he waited till the END of his visitation to take his family out to dinner, but I’m making an honest attempt to erradicate my life of anger and spitefulness. I’m trying NOT to buy into the war fantasy I’ve so adeptly inserted into my subconscious.
I didn’t give him a yes or no answer. I told him I would call him when I was on my way to the restaurant, and he could meet me outside. I let myself watch an extra 10 minutes of the Jets/Patriots game and headed into town. 5 minutes later, I was waiting outside of Appplebee’s. LB emerged with the whole family, her face smeared in chocolate.
Blondie’s offspring ran right up to me and shouted gleefully, “LB ate LOTS of ice cream!”
Great. No sleep for me tonight.
I handed Rooferman the schedule for the Love & Logic parenting class we are required to take next week. Its actually a 5-week session, but I doubt he will keep showing up. He told me he had to go back to court next week, so his schedule was a little tight. I told him I would see him next Tuesday. I received the look of death from Blondie (oh right, its parent/teacher conference night…*snicker).
LB replayed her Tuesday routine, walking her feet up the wall as I tried to tuck her in. She asked met to sing her a lullaby, and proceeded to drown me out, singing the same lyrics at maximum volume. I finally sat down at 10:00 pm to update my Netflix queue. Behind me, I could hear the feetsie pajamas shuffling up to my chair. LB, wide-eyed and bushy tailed grinned at me.
“Mommy Hanna you get on compoodor? Mommy Hanna you come back? Mommy Hanna you take shower? Mommy Hanna you go nite nite?”
Nothing quite so picturesque as a 2.5-year-old Gemini hopped up on sugar at 10:00 pm with the full moon blaring down on her her rug-rat hair.
And for some reason, It didn’t bother me last night. There was no mommy meltdown. Even as she crawled into bed with me at 4 am. Even as her tiny fist slugged me in the eye around dawn. My heart stayed at a exhausted, yet steady pace.
Thanks to April and SWM, who suggested I actually take the time to investigate the FACTS. I called to check out my case file. No response has been submitted. No parenting class has been completed on his part. He hasn’t petitioned for custody and still hasn’t made any attempts to see LB or call. He may threaten to take custody from me, and I may be back in court down the road, but I’m done with the intimidation. His poor mother has been a victim of his rage, his lies and his manipulation since he was a cow-macing, car-wrecking, meth-smoking, pre-pubescent youth.
He’s in his own bubble, remember? The negative vibes don’t affect me. I’m sure Ruby is worried about me. I’m sure the anger she sees in her son triggers a very primal level of fear, except now the fear involves 2 other people: myself and her beloved granddaughter. She told me herself, “I love my son, but I’m not playing games anymore.”
I’ve decided if my court date goes well, I’m going to be Erin Brockovich for Halloween. If I am brutally rebuffed (as Alicia Silverstone would say in Clueless) I’m going as Dorothy, because I have some really cute red heels.
As for the comment “Why would a colleged-educated girl end up with a deadbeat Roofer?”, there’s been many theories about nature, female hormones, male hormones, the effects of drugs and alcohol, post-college rebellion, penis size and animal atraction (I’m sorry mother if you are reading this). After going to film school and immeshing myself in super-hip, super-egotistical, super-rich, super-intellectual, metrosexuals, I promptly ran in the opposite direction: Into the arms of the most testosterone-crazy, blissfully ignorant, bull-headed, beer-swigging, risk-taking embodiment of Greek God Ares I could find.
You’re right, it wasn’t a very smart descion and I’m suffering the life-long hangover now. There’s been many times where I’ve kicked myself, saying “I’m too smart for this sh**. I never thought I would be dumb enough to let something like this happen.” Se la Vie.
I did get a pretty awesome little person out of the whole deal though. 🙂
Remember this post? Remember how frustrated I was and attempting to be the “tough” mom? Well I finally figured out what was wrong this weekend. My first assumption was the season change, which still could be a factor. I then decided to blame my daycare (of course!) for letting LB sleep 2-3 hours during her nap. Obviously it was affecting her sleep! On Saturday I tested my hypothesis. I didn’t give her a nap at all. She slept maybe 20-30 minutes in the car ride from Farmington, NM but once again, she was walking up the walls at bedtime.
I was completely at a loss, and REALLY pissy by 10:30 pm that night.
Then the truth revealed itself.
The nightly bedtime rejection has been happening more and more frequently since this incident. The anxiety level in LB reached maximum velocity on Saturday night. It became obvious that her emergence from the bedroom was not just a silly toddler game. There was geniune concern on her face. Each time I angrily ushered her back to bed, that concern started morphing into outright fear.
What is was she afraid of? She’s started telling me that there’s “spiders in my bed” and I keep assuring her, “No, spiders live outside, not in your bed.” While strolling through the Halloween section at Target this weekend, she was visibly afraid of the big, hairy, hanging spiders. Maybe she was having spider nightmares and didn’t want to go to sleep?
This was different though. If LB is tired enough, she will eventually pass out, even if she has to throw a minor tantrum first. This time, something wasn’t letting her go to sleep, even though I could clearly see the exhaustion in her eyes. Each time she came out of her room, she asked me to pick her up. At almost 2.5 years old, she rarely asks this anymore. She is Miss Independent.
At this point, the “tough” mommy had failed miserably, and I picked my 26lb child up. Y’all know I’ve been watching a lot of Planet Earth, so immediately I thought of the baby monkeys, clinging to their mama’s chests. That’s what my child was Saturday night: Death Grip Baby Monkey.
As I hugged her and rocked her, she just kept clinging. It was like she had reverted to her 10-month-old self. So I started saying, “This is how I used to rock you when you were a baby.”
All at once, she let go of my neck, looked me straight in the eye and said, “Mommy, you come back?”
I was shocked. My daughter was afraid to go to sleep because she thought once I left her room, I wasn’t coming back. It totally broke my heart that I had been trying to brush off her feelings as some 2-year-old bedtime power struggle. When I finally stopped trying to control the situation, the truth came out: she was afraid of abandonment.
So I laid her down, whispering this mantra into her ear until she fell asleep:
Mommy always comes back. I love you. Mommy always comes back.
She slept until morning.
I’ve been focusing so much on how I have to nail this court appearance, that I completely overlooked how all this stress might be affecting my daughter. How Rooferman’s sudden appearance might have had more of an impact than I thought. I’ve been second-guessing LB’s attachment and resilliency, like her dad must not be that important to her. I’m still under the ignorant impression that she’s only 2 and she’s only seen her dad 16 times in the last year and a half, so therefore she must not have bonded to him.
Its obvious how very, very wrong I was.
P.S. I also broke the news to Rooferman’s parents this weekend, that I would be taking him to court for custody. I cried a little bit, because they’ve already been through so much legal crap with him, and I really don’t want to add to that pain. They hugged me, thanked me for telling them and told me they support me completely. Yeah, I’m lucky as hell they love me and LB so much.
Well I did it. I submitted my petition for custody to the courts. The judge is reviewing my case to see if I qualify to have the $212 fee waived. Next its off to serve Rooferman and get the ball rolling. Tomorrow I am sitting in on a custody case, represented by the lawyer who is helping me file Pro Se.
This year is suposed to be my “golden year”. Back in February I wondered if something special were going to happen to me, or if this year was going to be my best year. Maybe deep down I thought some magic force would come down and offer me a plate of happiness. I prayed for 2008 to be a “kinder, gentler year” than 2007. How Pisces of me.
I’m half way through my golden year now, and it hasn’t been easy. Nothing has been gift wrapped and handed to me. 2008 has been brutal in many ways, challenging me and testing my role as a mom, worker, daughter, and a basic member of humanity. It has pushed me to be a stronger, smarter and more resilient person. This year has given me pride, courage and faith.
This year, my golden year, I have begun to overcome fear. I have started to love myself. I have taken the power back from those who have used it against me. I have found self-worth.
I couldn’t ask for a better birthday present.